A general method for characterizing structural adhesives in the bonded lap shear mode is proposed. Two approaches in the form of semi-empirical and theoretical approaches are used. The semi-empirical approach includes Ludwik's and Zhurkov's equations to describe respectively, the failure stresses in the constant strain rate and constant stress loading modes with the inclusion of the temperature effects. The theoretical approach is used to describe adhesive shear stress-strain behavior with the use of viscoelastic or nonlinear elastic constitutive equations. Three different model adhesives are used in the simple lap shear mode with titanium adherends. These adhesives (one of which was developed at NASA Langley Research Center) are currently considered by NASA for possible aerospace applications. Use of different model adhesives helps in assessment of the generality of the method.